City finds way to replace school field trips The Mesa Tribune | The Hometown Newspaper for the city of Mesa, AZ

City finds way to replace school field trips

City finds way to replace school field trips


The City of Mesa’s Arts and Culture Department has found a virtual substitute for field trips and give students access to STEAM – programs teaching science, technology, engineering, arts, and math.

An online portal called ReimaginED – short for “Learning Reimagined” – has been created by the Mesa Arts Center, Arizona Museum of Natural History and i.d.e.a. Museum with partners Mesa Historical Museum and Southwest Shakespeare Company.

The goal is to provide learning materials for educators and parents who home-school their children at a time when the pandemic makes field trips impossible.

The portal, at, is billed as a “one-stop, easy-to-use access point for a wide variety of wonderful learning resources that can be used in any learning environment, from traditional classrooms to kitchen tables, with in-person or online learning.”

“We are thrilled that these five institutions have come together to support Arizona students during these challenging times,” said Cindy Ornstein, city arts and culture director and executive director of the arts center.

“The programs offered should be able to help enliven classrooms, engage students’ critical thinking and creativity, and help motivate students to stay engaged with learning.”

Most of the resources on the site are free, she noted. The city in a release said the portal offers “a variety of worlds and discoveries, spanning all ages and a wide array of subjects.”

“Young explorers will take flight with their imaginations, discern how the scientific method helps us separate fact from fiction, journey back in time to the pioneer days of Arizona and gain a new appreciation for the power of story and the joy of self-expression.

“Students will discover the power of image and metaphor through works of art and the works of Shakespeare, experience the joy of great music, and learn about the ancient civilizations of our region, and the dinosaurs that roamed this state over sixty million years ago.”

Offerings from the city Department of Arts and Culture are divided by five age groups spanning pre-kindergarten through senior year. A page features programs from Mesa Historical Museum and Southwest Shakespeare Company.

Mesa Arts Center will host several virtual and in-person programs, including Project Lit, which uses poetry, spoken word and hip hop to promote literacy and activate social and emotional learning.

A Classical Music Inside Out program will feature Grammy Award-winning cellist Zuill Bailey, performing and engaging students virtually in 45-minute virtual “informances.”

The Mesa Contemporary Arts Museum will host virtual gallery tours and discussions on topics such as “Tradition and Innovation” to “Behind the Scenes,” the latter a look at what it takes to curate a museum art exhibition.

Arizona Museum of Natural History’s programs target grades 3–5 with such topics as “Dinosaur Teeth,” “Fossil Detectives” and “Science of Sauropods.” Material meets state science standards.

The i.d.e.a. Museum aims its programs at students in preschool through 6th grade with various interactive videos and hands-on activities.

Southwest Shakespeare Company will offer virtual performances of several Shakesperean plays, such as “Romeo and Juliet.”

The Mesa Historical Museum will host virtual field trips to its Women in Aviation and Mesa & Arizona Pioneer History exhibitions, accompanied by additional learning resources for each exhibition.

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